President

Peter Lewis-Jones

Peter started his apprenticeship with the Austin Motor Company in Longbridge in 1965 and then joined Swain & Jones Ltd, working in various departments before being appointed Service Director and subsequently Chairman & Managing Director. During his time at Swain & Jones, he held franchises for Austin Rover, Jaguar, Land Rover, LDV, Chrysler, Saab, and Unipart.

He is now a Vice President of the Austin Ex-Apprentices Association, running the London section and enjoying retirement spending time with his five grandchildren.

He served as Chairman of The Fellowship between 2015 – 2017 and was then appointed President in 2018.

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Chair

David Manchester

David’s career in the retail motor industry, starting at the age of 14, cleaning used cars and toilets! He progressed through an apprenticeship, Service Reception and Car Sales, becoming at 28, a General Manager. He has run Privately Owned, Manufacturer Owned and PLC owned dealerships and invested in his own business when he was 35.

His business grew to a Group of 8 locations, during this period David was The National Chairman of Peugeot’s Dealer Association for six years. Over the last 10 years, David has acted as a consultant assisting Dealers selling their car or Motorcycle Dealerships for continuing or alternative use.

David enjoys sailing, golf, cycling, and is a keen motorcyclist, volunteering as a Blood Biker. David is a member of the Royal Automobile Club and The Coachmakers Livery Company.

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Vice Chair

Peter Cottle

Peter is a highly experienced and respected industry expert, and a former Chair of the FLA Motor Division. He has held commercial leadership roles at both Lombard and Bank of Scotland, with responsibility for a number of premium motor manufacturer and retailer relationships, including Managing Director of Jaguar Cars Finance and PSA Finance. In addition, Peter has also sat on the boards of several JV businesses, including Renault Financial Services and Lex Vehicle Leasing.

He remains an active participant in industry initiatives, and has been an energetic member of the Fellowship committee since 2011. He acts as an automotive consultant and is currently a member of the Finativ consultancy firm. Away from work he enjoys socialising, watching rugby and cricket, and is a lover of classic cars.

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Honorary Treasurer

Peter Brown

Peter survived 40 years in the automotive sector initially in Finance with Jaguar Cars as part of British Leyland. He had several roles in Finance before moving abroad to become FD of the Belgian and then German subsidiaries taking on Land Rover during that period.

Peter moved into Sales & Marketing in 2005 to be General Manager of Jaguar Germany before transferring back to the UK after 14 years in Europe to lead Jaguar Brand Marketing for Europe then assuming the role of JLR Operations Director for Europe in 2011 for 5 years. He led North American Operations within the Global Structure in 2016 before retiring from JLR in 2018.

Committee Member

Peter Leake

Immediate ex-Chair, Peter’s life in the industry began as an Austin Apprentice at Longbridge in 1974, as a Commercial Student. This led him to joining British Leyland’s Fleet Sales department, and finally move to Jaguar Cars in 1982.

He joined Jaguar as the first Dealer Sales Training Executive before taking on various management roles within Dealer Training and travelling the world for the Company. Peter left Jaguar in 2012 to set up his training consultancy – VantagePL Consulting – which he successfully ran for 10 years. He is now a Board Director of the Jaguar Enthusiasts Club. Having been our Chairman for a successful two-year term, he continues to serve on our Committee.

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Committee Member

Ray Sommerville

Ray has over 40 years of motor industry experience, including GM & Director roles with Plc Groups Inchcape, Lex, Caverdale and Quicks. His career concluded with 15 years as CEO and shareholder of Perrys Group Ltd.

Throughout his working life, he has run successful divisions and businesses through setting high standards, developing talented people and empowering behaviour. This approach has led him to receive a number of accolades such as the Car Dealer Magazine “Lifetime Achievement Award”, AM Magazine “Business Leader of the Year 2015” and NFDA “Special Recognition Award 2015”. Today, Ray enjoys playing golf and watching motorsport, and follows Glasgow Rangers and Scotland Rugby.

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Committee Member

David Stevens

David has enjoyed a long, happy career in outward facing roles within the motor industry. Beginning as a sponsored Business Studies student, he went onto work at Peugeot/PSA for 12 years and spent 23 years at JLR, followed by 9 years as a business consultant. Throughout his career, he has represented OEMs, built important relationships with retailers and implemented a JLR franchising plan based on fewer owners, larger territories and dual-brand facilities.

He has also contributed a variety of voluntary work for charities, rugby clubs and schools. His skills and experience in the motor trade proving invaluable to assist these organisations. Serving as Chair of Governors for a group of schools for 12 years, he helped with the appointment of a new Principal and the building of a new school.

Committee Member

Prof Jim Saker

Jim is Emeritus Professor at Loughborough University where he was Director of the Centre for Automotive Management for over thirty years. He launched the world’s first degrees in Retail Automotive Management in the late 90s and has taught and spoken on industry programmes both in the UK and the Middle and Far East.

He is currently President of the IMI and Chairs the WBBL (the British professional women’s basketball league in the UK.) He is a Governor at Leicester Grammar School and Gartree High School and is a trustee of Open Hands, a charity supporting the poor in Leicester and Bless, an organisation helping refugees in France

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Committee Member

Sarah Sillars OBE Hon FIMI

Sarah has already enjoyed 35 years of fellowship and inspiring work in the Retail Motor Industry and Engineering Skills Sector and continues to do so. In her impressive career, to date she has previously led the IMI, Semta (Enginuity) and Institute of Advanced Motoring (IAM RoadSmart).
Sarah currently holds a variety of influential positions within the industry:
  • A VP for the IMI, Chairing the Diversity Task Force on Physical and non visible disability, along with her role as Chair of the Nominations Committee
  • Senior Independent Director for Remit Training
  • NED Citygate Automotive
  • Board Advisor Bridge Learning Technologies
  • Immediate Past Master of the Coachmakers and Coach Harness Makers of London

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Committee Member

Denis Chick

Denis joined Rover Co Ltd in 1965 as an engineering apprentice and moved through several engineering roles into Product Planning and Marketing before joining PR in 1985. He later became Director of Global Product Communications at the company from 1995 until 2000. After leaving Rover, Denis occupied a number of roles in marketing and communications, joining Trafficmaster as Comms Director in 2000 then moving to GM Daewoo as PR and Marketing Manager for GMUK Operations.

In 2006, he became Director of Comms for Chevrolet and was responsible for the PR of all GM brands sold in the UK, including Chevrolet, Vauxhall, Saab, Cadillac, Corvette and Hummer. His final role within the industry was Director of Communications at Vauxhall Motors. He retired in 2018 and is now a keen transport historian, as well as a classic car and bus owner.

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Committee Member

David Lansdowne

David spent more than 20 years with Rover Group. During that time, he held a number of senior roles in the United Kingdom, Canada and mainland Europe. As Parts Director for Rover Cars, he directed the largest subcontracted parts operation in the world. He was Sales and Marketing Director of Land Rover Parts and a non-executive Director of British Motor Heritage.

As well as his current role as Deputy Chairman of AFI, David co-directs Aftermarket Solutions. He is also Chair of Trustees for a local charity in Kenilworth. David is married to Barbara, they have three children and four grandsons.

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Committee Member

Nigel Barfoot

Nigel has an educational background in engineering, as a student engineer apprentice in Longbridge and graduate of Mechanical Engineering at Aston. His career began in British Leyland’s Service and Parts Division and in 2003 he joined Unipart as Sales Director for the Unipart and Rover brands.

Nigel also coaches, is a trustee of a special needs school, chair of the Oxford United Centre of Excellence Trust Fund and Oxfordshire Young Enterprise. Living in Bournville, he is deeply involved with the Austin ExApprentices Association as Vice Chair and Hon.Sec.

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Committee Member

Mark Robinson

After a successful career in privately owned and PLC dealer groups, where he developed into General Management and Director roles, Mark started his own business in 2003. Over 17 years, he grew Vantage Motor Group to a business with 22 Centres and 700 Team Members across the North and West Midlands, before exiting in 2020 following a management buyout.

Mark is still actively involved in the sector acting as an investor, non executive and advisor, as well as being an active shareholder in a large national used vehicle remarketing company.

Outside of the motor industry, Mark is a Trustee of two North Yorkshire Hospices and a specialist Emotional Wellbeing Bereavement Support Service. He also acts as a business mentor with The Prince’s Trust and lives in Ilkley, where he collects classic cars

Honorary Secretary

Brian Spratt

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